How to Replace Pavers in a Paver Walkway

Replacing pavers in a stone paver walkway is a fairly uncomplicated job and should be easily within reach of the average DIYer. A few basic tools and materials are needed for the job, but these can all be found at most hardware or home improvement stores. A paver will need replacing if it is broken, perhaps due to something heavy dropping on it. First, the old paver and mortar will need to be removed and then the new one can be installed. The job can be done in less than an hour if you are only replacing a single paver, but the area will need to be kept clear of foot traffic for a while.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Replacement paver
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Wire brush
  • Grout bag

Step 1 – Remove the Broken Paver

The first step is to completely remove the broken paver. Depending on how the paver is damaged, this could be easy or a little complicated. If you cannot simply pry up the pieces and break them off the mortar, tap the center of the paver with a hammer to break it apart some more. Be careful when doing this, as excessive force may damage the surrounding pavers. When there is a large enough crack in the paver, get the chisel into it and start to pry up each section. Pry up each section of the stone and use the chisel to chip away any remaining smaller sections.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Mortar

Chip away the old mortar from the bottom of the cavity and around the sides. Again, be especially careful when chipping away the mortar around the edge of the cavity as the chisel can easily slip and damage the other pavers. When you have removed all of the mortar that you can in this manner, use a wire brush to scrape away any remaining mortar. The surface of the cavity needs to be thoroughly clean and level before continuing.

Step 3 – Apply Mortar

Apply a new layer of mortar into the cavity. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for further instructions on mixing the mortar. It should have a thick consistency like soft butter. Thinset mortar is ideal for this job. Use the trowel to apply a half inch-thick layer of mortar into the cavity. Make sure that the layer of mortar is completely level before continuing.

Step 4 – Set the Replacement Paver

Get the replacement paver and gently set it down on the layer of mortar. Press it firmly but carefully down so that it is completely level with all of the surrounding stones. Fill up a grout bag with enough mortar to fill the joints. Using the grout bag, squeeze mortar into the joints between the pavers. Make sure that the mortar is tightly and thoroughly packed evenly into the joints. The replacement paver may stand out a bit, but it will quickly weather and blend in with the surrounding walkway after some time. Leave the area for a couple of days before walking over it again.